My most hated phrase of all time is, “hey do you have a second to chat?” There is never ANY good news that comes with that question. If you ask any business owner what is the hardest part of owning a business, they will without a doubt say, employees. Whether that is attracting, retaining or growing them – it is really flipping hard. And without a doubt, they will leave at some point, believing otherwise is only going to leave you scrambling when it happens.
8THIRTYFOUR’s talent has always been relatively young, some first year grads or those with maybe a year under their belt. When we began operating on EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) we took a hard look at how we were hiring, the experience we needed and the growth we anticipated in the next 3 to 5 years. We brag about our culture a lot and it is pretty great, however, to really value it, an employee needs to have perspective. What I mean by this, is they have to have worked someplace else for them to truly appreciate what makes 8THIRTYFOUR different. When they truly see the difference, we can retain them longer and show them how they can continue to grow in their role.
As we continue to grow our team, there are valuable lessons to learn from employees when they leave. Here is my advice for when an employee leaves, I’d like to say I’ve always handled it like this but the truth is you tend to take things very personal as a business owner and it’s hard to step back and see the big picture sometimes.
Listen & Learn:
We hold exit interviews when our employees leave, and we ask them to be brutally honest. We ask questions like 1) What did you like about your role? 2) What were the hurdles you faced? 3) What could leadership do better? 4) What would you change about the role?
Be sure to customize the questions based on the position and who they report to. We have gotten really great feedback from former employees during the exit interview, which has resulted in changes company wide. The best thing you can do, is learn, analyze and adapt.
Analyze & Adapt:
Feedback is useless if you don’t do anything with it. It isn’t always easy to hear where you’ve stumbled or failed, but it’s absolutely necessary. Reflect on the positive, embrace the negative and change it. Think how awesome it is get honest feedback you can then put into practice.
Just cause their leaving doesn’t mean you’ll never see them again. Maintain the connection, check in periodically and follow their career progress.
Growth is hard and with it comes staff changes. It’s all part of the joy of business ownership.